Author Richard B. Spence can be seen on various documentaries on the History Channel and is a consultant for Washington, DC's International Spy Museum. In addition to Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult, he is also the author of Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (Feral House).
Ian spoke with professor of history Dr. Richard Spence about his new book on Aleister Crowley, the "poster boy for 20th century occultism." Spence said Crowley was raised in a well-to-do, fundamentalist Christian home and received a Cambridge education. His most shocking revelation about the infamous occultist, however, involves Crowley's work as an operative for British naval intelligence.Spence described Crowley as a daring mountain climber, looking for contact with the divine, and "not overly constrained by conventional morality." He mentioned the influential role Crowley's aunt played in his drift into secret service work, as well as an event that took place in Stockholm, Sweden. According to Spence, agent Crowley was there on his way to Czarist Russia.Spence noted the relationship between politics and the occult during his discussion, and talked about Crowley's association with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult organization in Late Victorian Britain. ... More »Host: Ian Punnett